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East County Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 8 years ago

Ranch alliance revved up for first Car-BQ

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — An East County business group is giving new meaning to the term “fast food” with its new fundraiser.

The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance will host its first Car-BQ boxed lunch fundraiser this Friday at the Sarasota Polo Club.

For $10, hungry motorists can get a boxed lunch with a pulled pork or chicken sandwich, sides and a dessert. In NASCAR fashion, participants can drive up to a pit crew station, pick up their boxed lunch and head back to the road, or they can camp out at the polo grounds to enjoy their barbecue in a picnic-style dining area.

Tickets should be pre-purchased by Nov. 19 by calling the Business Alliance or ordering online at

“I think it will be a fun event,” said Bobbi Larson, co-chair of the alliance’s events and fundraising committee. “There’s opportunity for us to grow it and create more opportunities to linger.”

Catering is being provided by the Polo Grill and Bar. Delivery is available for orders of 25 boxed lunches or more. Several businesses already have arranged to buy lunches to thank their employees, and many have chosen to get a hybrid sponsorship, which delivers 10 lunches to their charity of choice.

Larson said the Car-BQ is styled after a fundraiser organized by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.

“Next year, we’re hoping to grow the event and add a few twists to it,” she said. “But since it’s new this year, we thought we’d start simple. For next year’s event, we plan on making it bigger and better than ever and creating some aspects that would create more of an onsite event and some opportunities for networking.”

Through the Car-BQ, the alliance was hoping to sell at least 1,000 lunches and raise about $15,000, which will be reinvested in the group, which is at about 400 members, Larson said.

“The organization has grown really quickly,” she said.

Money raised likely will be used to provide funding for more programs and educational forums for members, to help pay for alliance membership for economic development councils and other organizations with membership dues and to hire a part-time administrative staff member, Larson said.

“We’ve tried really hard to keep the membership dues affordable and this supplements what comes in memberships and annual sponsorships,” Larson said. “That’s why I say it’s an investment.”

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 20
WHERE: Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane
DETAILS: A $10 ticket includes a lunch of a pulled pork or chicken barbecue sandwich, sides and dessert. Guests can drive up to pick up their lunches and go or park and dine in a picnic-style area.
BENEFICIARY: Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance
TICKETS: Pre-purchase needed by Nov. 19.
REGISTRATION: or 757-1664

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